nigel’s top ten – orecchiette with cheese and artichokes

this is a quick and easy mid-week pasta supper which requires nothing more than a bit of planning when you’re shopping. the combination of artichokes (i use the chargrilled ones in oil from my local deli), lemon and cheese is something i’ve often tossed with pasta. adding the green olives was an extra step, but not because it wouldn’t have occurred to me, just that olives tend to get eaten quickly in this house so probably wouldn’t have been in the fridge waiting to be used.

so, how did i get on?

as i said, it’s an easy dish and was simple enough to pull together, to try and maximise the flavours i mixed all the ingredients apart from the cheese the night before, so the flavours could meld. i also chose olives stuffed with lemon for an extra bit of lemony goodness.

the final verdict:

would i have tried this recipe if it hadn't been part of nigel’s top ten? yes. it’s close enough to dishes i already make so didn’t really feel like something new.

would i try this recipe again in the future? yes, for the same reasons. sunblush tomatoes might be nice as an extra ingredient.

i'm sharing this recipe with kirsten from kirsten's kitchen who is hosting this week's presto pasta nights!

orecchiette with cheese and artichokes (april 2005) serves 2

150g orecchiette

250g preserved artichokes

lemon 1 large, finely grated zest and juice

olive oil

a small bunch of parsley

20 green olives

150g goat's or sheep's cheese

put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta. cut the artichokes in thick slices and drop them into a bowl. add the grated lemon zest and juice. stir in four tablespoons of olive oil and a seasoning of salt and pepper. chop or tear the parsley leaves and add to the artichokes.

salt the boiling water, add the pasta, then cook till tender (about 9 minutes). drain the pasta and toss with the artichokes. divide between two bowls and serve with thin slices of cheese.